Video Games

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Long Awaited Return of Mario Kart 8...And it was Worth the Wait!

The long awaited Mario Kart 8 is finally here! Nintendo has stepped up and proved that it was worth the wait. Returning favorites and 9 new characters making their first appearance, 4 new items you can pick up on the track and the newest and best addition is the anti-gravity that not only allows for more dynamic track design, but also for racers to drive across walls, ceilings, and other seemingly unusual places.

The game looks amazing in full HD with 1080p at 60f/s. There are attentions to detail around every turn. The online features are a welcome change from the barebones offerings we saw in DS, Wii and 7. Players can chat with a preset box of greetings, taunts and questions, and people can even host their own tournaments. Not only that, but with the MKTV (Mario Kart TV) feature,
players can upload highlights of their races, edited however they want. Yes, the editing tools are a little scant, but they work and give players a quick, easy way to show off their skills and upload them to YouTube and the MiiVerse. This is going to be the go-to party game of 2014. If you liked Mario Kart in the past, this is another fantastic entry into the series.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

What's Next for Nintendo?

With the Wii U essentially a flop what is next for Nintendo? Keep pushing the Wii u and try and salvage what they can? They are continuing to release some notable sellers with a new Donkey Kong coming out 2/21 and Mario Kart 8 in May it seems like they are still trying to up the gaming library of the Wii U. My theory, and its just a theory, is that they will treat the Wii U like they did Game Cube. They will continue supporting it by releasing a few high profile titles, like Mario Kart 8, to keep us interested but their focus will be the next generation. But what is that? What is going to get you to buy another Nintendo console? And the question is who is Nintendo trying to sell to? The Wii was not for the serious gamer but had mass fad appeal to people that normally wouldn’t buy a game console in the first place. The Wii U didn’t continue that and serious gamers weren’t enticed to buy the Wii U with the specs it was toting.

At the last investors meeting for Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata took to the stage and told investors that in the next 10 years he wanted to work on improving customers’ quality of
life, first in terms of health but later in learning and other non-gaming related areas. Does this means more brain games and fit games and less Mario? What does non-gaming mean?  He then indicated that dedicated Nintendo games on smartphones and tablets could be on their way this year. But have no fear Nintendo has no intention of quitting the hardware business, as Iwata hinted at plans for new video game hardware after the 3DS and Wii U. So while what is next for Nintendo is anyone’s guess one thing is for sure throughout Nintendo's entire tenure, they've consistently innovated their way out of slumps so sit back and see what genius comes next.  Share your thoughts and reviews of Nintendo’ games, any books, and movies at

Saturday, January 11, 2014

PlayStation Now the Death of GameStop

With Sony’s announcement of their new streaming service, PlayStation Now, GameStop will be getting ready to close its doors….ok that might be a bit of a stretch.  PlayStation Now, will bring PlayStation, PS2, and PS3 games to a variety of devices. The service will stream games to the PS4, handheld PS Vita, as well as other devices like HDTVs, tablets, and smart phones.

PlayStation Now in combination with the upgrades both Sony and Microsoft has made to the ease of downloading current games mean there will be fewer games purchased and less trade ins at brick and mortar locations like GameStop.

GameStop’s main income was not in selling new games but in selling pre-owned games they have bought from me for $10 and sell to you for $40.
GameStop will have to change their business plan perhaps to one similar to game rentals and we all know how well that worked out for Blockbuster.  I am obviously not the only one who thought this might be bad for GameStop since after the announcement of PlayStation Now GameStop stock dropped 8%. I guess we will just have to see what happens. Share your thoughts and reviews on books, movies and video games at

Sunday, December 15, 2013

PS4 or Xbox One for the Holidays- A Parents Guide for Christmas

So if you’re a parent of kids over the age of 11 you might be trying to figure out which console is right for your child. I start by saying over the age of 11 because anyone under this age should really get a WII U.

WII U has tons of kid appropriate games and at the lowest price of the three consoles is only $299. Not only kid friendly but family friendly games. From the classics Super Mario Brothers to the Modern
Super Mario 3-D World, Zelda, Skylanders, and all the fun interactive games. Additionally, there are some games for mature children like Batman Archam Origins, Madden NFL, and NBA 2K13. But the technology is behind and the graphics aren’t fabulous but its still a fun family friendly gaming system.

If your child is older and is looking for Graphics, more games, and things along those lines you are now on the hunt for either an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 the question is which one is for you?

Here is my personal chart of differences that matter to the laymen or non-gamer shoppers:


Xbox One




Apps: Netflix, Hulu, etc

Apps: Netflix, Hulu, etc

Downloadable games

Downloadable games

500 GB hard drive

500 GB hard drive

No Voice Control

Voice Control

Play online free

Pay to play online- $59 yr

Free games every month with membership

Play online with membership

camera not included

Motion gaming camera included

PlayStation 4 is a $100 less than Xbox One but is 50% more powerful than Xbox One and has a more powerful graphics-processing unit. Plus Sony has opened its doors to a lot more indie developers so there should be a larger variety of games in the future.  With a membership to PlayStation Plus you will
be able to download a new game for free every month. Lastly the PS4 controllers are better than all other consoles with touchpad control options and dual shock vibrations as you play.

Don’t get me wrong Xbox One does have a lot of cool features that PS4 doesn’t. You can connect your cable box to the Xbox One and control everything with your voice! Which is just fun what else can you call that. It has all the same apps that PS4 has: Netflix, skype, hulu plus etc. But if you want to play online, which is what everyone wants to do, you will have to pay
the $59 annual Xbox Live membership fee, which PS4 doesn’t make you do.  Xbox Live gives you 2 free games a month compared to PS4's one. Lastly including Kinect motion sensor as standard part of the console is cool as it is getting you ready for whatever cool motion games are coming out in the future and allows you to do all those voice commands.

A negative for both consoles: If you have either the consoles earlier generations you will not be able to play those games on these. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are NOT backwards compatible. And no matter what games on both console at $60 bucks each. So the answer which is better…too early to tell…but my opinion why not get the Xbox One and use it as a centralized entertainment center for the whole family. You will have the motion games like on the Wii U and the ability to play more mature games with better graphics for older members of the family. But that’s my two cents…What’s yours?

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